CHELSEA can only spend £20,000 on travel for away matches plunging their Champions League defence into chaos.
The brutal restrictions throw their trip to Lille next week into major doubt.
Chelsea will be unable to fly to away matches on private jets[/caption]
A £20,000 away travel budget has been set for the club[/caption]
The clubs were hit with heavy punishments after Roman Abramovich was named on a UK Government sanctions list related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
And part of their ‘licence’ to operate as a club includes a limited budget for getting to fixtures on the road.
That is going to especially affect European matches as the reigning champions are hamstrung by the tight allowance.
Chelsea beat Lille 2-0 in the first leg of their last-16 showdown in February and visit the French side on Wednesday.
Read more on Chelsea
The Blues would ordinarily fly out on a private plane the day before the match and stay in a luxury hotel.
However, that is likely to breach the £20,000 budget laid out in the ‘Russian regulations’.
As reported by Player Care Group founder Hugo Scheckter, a ‘usual Premier League away game including a flight, security, food and hotels’ would cost at least £30,000 – and that is a conservative calculation.
He added: “Going abroad, I don’t see how they can do anything other than either commercial flights or drive their bus and a significant drop in standard of hotel. Will make a big impact.”
Most read in Football
BRIDGE OF SIGHS
Chelsea could FOLD if sanctioned Abramovich does not sell club in 81 DAYS
Chelsea sponsors Three SUSPEND £120m shirt deal hours before Prem clash
DEVIL IN DISGUISE
Man Utd Prem winner looks unrecognisable 15 years on as he rides bike
TUCH AND GO
Man Utd should go all out for Thomas Tuchel, says Jamie Carragher
Sanctioned Abramovich ‘may have helped make Putin’s TANKS for Ukraine war’
MAKING A POINT
Chelsea face points deduction if they go into administration
JOIN SUN VEGAS: (Ts&Cs apply)
Ironically, Lille are one of the closest teams to Chelsea on the continent – with the drive from the Cobham training ground just 180 miles to North-East France – an approximate three-and-a-half-hour drive.
So it could be a case of Euro stars on the Eurostar!
Their next match after the Lille second leg is a 536-mile round trip to Middlesbrough for the FA Cup quarter-final at 5.15pm on March 19.
Tonight’s away clash at Norwich – 157 miles from Cobham – is going ahead as scheduled.
The club confirmed the 7.30pm kick-off with a tweet of manager Thomas Tuchel mocked up as Norwich-based parody radio host Alan Partridge holding a ‘champions of the world’ mug with Carrow Road in the background.
The bombshell announcement sanctioning the club essentially places them in limbo.
It means the billionaire Russian oligarch will have all his assets frozen, be banned from coming to Britain and from doing any business here.
It comes as:
That effectively bans Abramovich from selling Chelsea, despite announcing they were up for sale last week.
A special licence from the Treasury means that ‘football-related activities’ can go ahead – such as matches.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said Blues fans will ‘obviously’ be impacted but assured them their fixtures and tickets are safe.
Those impacts include Tuchel’s side being slapped with a transfer ban and are unable to give out any new contracts in a devastating blow.
They are now set to lose defenders Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta on free transfers, with Chelsea unable to hand out contracts either.
The trio can strike pre-contract agreements at foreign sides, with Christensen and Azpilicueta already thought to be on the verge of joining Barcelona.
The club is also not allowed to sell any more match tickets, with only season ticket holders able to attend games while merchandise sales have been banned too.
And there is now a distinct possibility of a points penalty, too, should the club enter administration.
Read our Football News Live blog for breaking news, transfer gossip and must-read stories